Pity poor Kathy McGinty, Democrat of Pennsylvania – well, don’t, but her career is taking a beating right now. The short version is that the Democrats would like to take Pat Toomey’s Pennsylvania Senate seat ‘back’ – mind you, they only had it because Arlen Specter flipped parties – and McGinty is generally considered to be preferable to rival Democratic candidate Joe Sestak, who of course managed to defeat Specter in the 2012 Senate primary, then lose to Toomey in the general. But Sestak is vulnerable, so: easy enough, right?
…Wrong. Turns out that many Democrats can’t stand her because she’s not sufficiently anti-fracking to suit them – and whatever goodwill that might be generated by Republicans over that is neatly counteracted by Kathy McGinty’s ties to NRG Energy. Essentially, back in 2008 McGinty (then a former head of the PA Department of Environmental Protection) joined to NRG’s Board of Directors. She then rose in the cosy little world of government-business energy influence brokering until McGinty was able to score a federal appointment at the Department of Energy in 2010. While there, lo! All sorts of companies (including NRG) associated with McGinty got fat green energy subsidies and contracts. After that, McGinty went back into politics, tried to run for governor, lost the primary, joined eventual winner Tom Wolf’s administration as his chief of staff. And that brings us to the present, etc. etc. etc.
Oh, and as for NRG? The company took a bath last year because it had to spin off its renewable energy subsidies because they were no longer profitable. Whether or not you consider that detail tied up with the fact that energy subsidies are no longer as reliable as the sunrise… well. It was unlikely to have really helped.
All of this will be brought up in the general election, by the way – the NRSC is already pointing out Kathy McGinty’s long-going ties to both NRG and other energy crony Iberdrola – but it’s important to remember that all of this is standard operating procedure for government Democrats. They constantly jump from public sector jobs to parasite positions in friendly companies and then back to the public sector or outright politics, and in the process they take a heck of a lot of our money and hand it over to people who will happily spend it without oversight. This is, frankly, something that more people should care about. Because crony capitalism is, well, everywhere these days.